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Grant Overview June 2016

With the new EU funded Growth Programme now underway, Cornwall is once again blessed with grant support for our SMEs to tap into. Although the spread of programmes is quite wide, the underlying theme of all grants remain ‘job-creation’ led and those projects demonstrating the clear creation of new skilled and well-paid jobs will have the best chance of success! Key points and tips are detailed under each programme:


Key points:

  • 4-6 month process for approval, not for urgent project.
  • Camborne, Redruth, Falmouth and Penryn classed as urban and not eligible.
  • Make sure project meets the local priorities listed on website.

Funding is available throughout England through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). It is aimed at farmers, foresters, growers, small and micro rural businesses, and rural community groups. The name is derived from a French acronym that translates as ‘Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development’.

Applications for LEADER funding can be made through Local Action Groups (LAGs) for projects that create jobs, encourage business growth and benefit the rural economy. A LAG is made up of people from the local community and the local public and private sector. LEADER priorities include –

  • Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
  • Boost rural tourism
  • Increase farm productivity
  • Increase forest productivity
  • Provide rural services
  • Provide cultural and heritage activities

Grants available of between £2500 and £35,000 maximum contribution of 40%Each Local Action Group decides which projects they will fund in their area according to local priorities. The amount of grant available will depend on the type of project, the size of the business and the costs involved. To understand the priorities in your local area and to find the contact details of your LAG Project Co-ordinator, visit –

South West Growth Fund

Key points:

  • Time is running out (last calls 9/9), but funding still available!
  • Non-refundable administration fees apply!
  • Extremely competitive!
  • Probably last round of RGF…ever!

The £8.7m South West Growth Fund (SWGF) is run by a partnership comprising Plymouth University/GAIN, SWMAS Ltd, South West Water and Western Morning News. The fund is able to provide investment grants from £15,000 to £1.0m to small and medium sized enterprises throughout South West England and large companies within the Assisted Areas of South West England.

Target sectors include Advanced Engineering, Marine, Digital Creative, Environmental, Manufacturing, Food Processing, Electronics, and Pharmaceuticals. The proposed grant-funded project and resulting employment must be located within the South West region. This comprises the following local authority areas: Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Isles of Scilly, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay, & Wiltshire.

Further details can be found at –

Business Investment for Growth 2

Key points:

  • £10k benchmark on job VFM.
  • 6-8 week decision making.
  • Procurement rules are more complex.

Further to the success of the Business Investment for Growth (BIG1) project (2012-2015), Cornwall Development Company has been awarded a £4.387 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contract by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to manage the BIG2 Project over a 3 year period (2016-2018). It is designed to support co-investments in high growth or potential high growth businesses based in Cornwall and is aimed at providing gap finance to enable projects to proceed that otherwise would not go ahead.

Its principal objectives are to support 200 businesses through grant investments, creating 360 jobs and levering in private sector match funding of £4.4m.

The level of investment will range from £2,500 up to a maximum of £75,000. The anticipated average investment will be around £18,000; representing a maximum 45% contribution to an applicant’s proposal. The website is now live and interested parties can read more and download the initial expression of interest at: Business Investment for Growth 2 – Cornwall Development Company – achieving prosperity in Cornwall

Innovation Vouchers

Complicated state aid rules around R&D grants and tax credits.

National based, winners drawn from hat.

Limited vouchers available on each round.

Innovation Vouchers worth up to £5,000 can be used to pay for an external expert to help your business grow.

You can use this expert to get advice on a novel idea or to use design within your business. You can ask them to help you make the most of intellectual property (IP). You can also use Innovation Vouchers to buy time and support on specialist equipment or facilities.

Innovate UK can help you find and choose an expert from one of the following:

  • universities and further education colleges
  • research and technology institutes
  • technical consultancies and Catapult centres
  • design advisers
  • intellectual property advisers

To qualify for an Innovation Voucher you must:

  • be starting up or running a micro, small or medium-sized UK business
  • need help with something that’s a real challenge for your business, not just a small improvement or change
  • have not worked with this expert before
  • have not had an Innovation Voucher from Innovate UK or the Technology Strategy Board before

Further information and apply at: